Maintaining Graduate Student Status

All graduate students are required to maintain continuous enrollment through completion of degree requirements or lose graduate student standing at SF State.  A student who does not enroll for two consecutive semesters loses graduate student standing and must reapply for admission to the University and to the major department. 

Culminating Experience Course Enrollment

Enrolling in the Culminating Experience course is the final step toward completing your degree. Once you enroll in your Culminating Experience course, you are expected to complete your degree within two semesters or maintain continuous enrollment until you earn your degree.  You are not required to enroll in coursework the semester immediately following enrollment in your Culminating Experience (CE) course if your Culminating Experience has not been completed.  

You are allowed a “grace” semester in which to complete your Culminating Experience and earn your degree. For example, if you enroll in your Culminating Experience course in Spring 2015, you are permitted to continue your work through the Fall 2015 semester without enrolling. During the grace period, you are considered a matriculated student and are eligible for all students support services. However, if you do not complete your Culminating Experience by the end of the Fall 2015 grace semester, you must enroll Spring 2016, and each semester thereafter until you earn your degree. You may enroll in the 499 course offered through CEL or in a course offered through the regular university enrollment process on advisement of your faculty.

Continuous Enrollment through CEL 499 Requirement

If you do not complete your Culminating Experience after the “grace” semester following enrollment in your Culminating Experience course, you are required to maintain continuous enrollment either through the College of Extended Learning (CEL) or enroll in a regular university course on advisement of faculty. If you enroll in a zero unit Culminating Experience Continuous Enrollment courses through CEL, you must adhere to the following processes. Enroll in the Culminating Experience Continuous Enrollment course under your college name: BUS 499, EDUC 499, ETHS 499, HSS 499, LCA 499 or SCI 499. Students must enroll in CEL 499 before the university’s add/drop deadline (the add/ drop deadline can be found on the Registrar’s Office website). Enrollment in the CEL CE course provides students access to SFSU libraries, discipline-associated laboratories and facilities, and Culminating Experience advisors.

If you do not maintain continuous enrollment, and wish to return to complete the degree, you will need to reapply to the university (readmission is not guaranteed) and enroll in the CEL course for the semester you are readmitted and every semester after until earning your degree. The 7-year time limit to degree, from earliest course in your degree program to date of graduation, applies.  For more detailed information please refer to Academic Senate Policy S08-246 or to the SF State Bulletin

To register for your CEL 499 Course:

  1. Use this link,, to find the available Continuous Enrollment courses for this term. Scroll down or click the “C” alpha to find ‘Continuous Enrollment.’ Here you can write down the class number you will need for enrollment in the appropriate CEL 499 course based on your college.
  2. Check to see if you have the necessary CEL 499 Course Requirement hold in your “Student Center.” This hold will appear under “Holds” on the right side of your “Student Center”. If you do not have this hold, stop and contact Graduate Studies at (415) 338-2234. If the hold appears on your record, proceed to Step 3.
  3. Enroll using the class number you noted by contacting Enrollment Services at (415) 405-7700 (Enrollment Services will assist you with payment options).